The Value of Shooting

Highlighting the economic, environmental and social benefits of shooting to the UK

New research shows shooting generates £2 billion for the economy, boosts conservation and provides jobs

Shooting is worth £2 billion a year (Gross Value Added*) to the UK economy and provides significant conservation benefits according to the results of independent research released today by leading shooting and countryside organisations.

The figures are outlined in a new report – The Value of Shooting – conducted by Cambridge-based Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC). It is the most comprehensive research into the economic, environmental and social contributions of shooting ever undertaken in the UK.

The Value of Shooting reveals that shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs. People who shoot spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services, bringing income into rural areas, particularly in the low-season for tourism. The research shows that an established shoot generates local economic benefits for businesses in a radius of up to fifteen miles.

The figures show that the amount spent on shooting (£2.5bn) equals almost 10% of the total amount spent on outdoor recreation in a year, which has been measured at £27bn by the Sport and Recreation Alliance**.

Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area. Almost two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting. Nearly £250 million a year is spent on conservation and habitat management which benefits a wide range of wildlife. People who shoot put in 3.9 million work days on conservation every year – the equivalent of 16,000 full-time conservation jobs.

At least 600,000 people in the UK shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets and existing industry information shows that there are at least 1.6 million individuals who shoot live quarry with an airgun.

Richard Ali, chief executive of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), said: “These figures show that shooting is good for the economy, good for jobs and good for the countryside – and we’re good at it as Olympic gold medals show. The contribution of shooting to the UK is clear. This should be recognised and policy should support and encourage the good which shooting does.”
Sir Peter Luff MP, chairman of the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), said: “This timely report reminds us of the vital contribution shooting makes to the economy, to rural jobs, to conservation and to building strong communities. It does so on the basis of solid research and strong data. It is a document that should be read with an open mind by everyone interested in the future of shooting.”

Henry Robinson, president of the CLA, said: “The figures in this comprehensive, independent report are striking.  Worth around £2 billion to UK businesses and supporting the equivalent of 74,000 jobs, it is clear that shooting adds a vital stimulus to the rural economy.  Many rural businesses found the trading environment challenging as a result of the 2008 financial crisis -  shooting provides a shining example of how resilient the rural economy can be. More than that, shooting providers spend nearly £250 million on protecting the landscape and are integral in ensuring the most effective management of the land."

Nick Fellows, chief executive of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA), said: "It is great to see the value of our wider industry identified so comprehensively in this new report. We know that target shooting sports are increasing in popularity all the time, particularly clay shooting, and this is a reflection of our recent Olympic success and the greater visibility of our sport at a local level. With the broad club base and new initiatives to encourage and support young talent, it is a sport that embraces all ages and abilities and it is really encouraging to see it in the wider context of a thriving and valuable industry."

Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “This is the most comprehensive research ever to be carried out into the shooting industry and its message is clear – shooting is a crucial part of our rural economy and plays an essential part in managing and conserving the countryside for the millions of people who enjoy it each year.”

James Horne, from GunsOnPegs (GoP), said: “The role of shooting and its importance to the countryside is clearly expressed by this valuable report. Shooting encourages improved stewardship of our woodland and moorland, provides jobs and wealth creation and above all brings enjoyment to the millions that visit every year.”

Edward King, chairman of the Gun Trade Association (GTA), said: “We commend this report for its open and honest approach to the subject of shooting in the UK. As a nation, we lead the world in the manufacture of fine guns and our trade provides a continuation of skills and craftsmanship, as well as employment for thousands.”

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association (MA), said: "This thorough report tells us that environmental work undertaken by shooting people covers more than ten times the total area of all national and local nature reserves. The largest type of land by far over which beneficial management takes place is heather moorland managed for grouse accounting for a significant proportion of the 3.9 million conservation work days.  Grouse shooting is a major contributor to the health of our countryside."

Lindsay Waddell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation (NGO), said: "This detailed report demonstrates gamekeepers deliver truly effective wildlife conservation across the uplands and the lowlands on a scale that the managers of most nature reserves can only dream about. It is clear gamekeeping safeguards a lot of jobs in the countryside and helps keep the rural economy alive, especially so in remote areas." 

Andrew Mercer, chief executive of the National Rifle Association (NRA), said: "This report confirms what the shooting community has long understood - that shooting is a major sport of national importance both in terms of the number of regular participants and economic worth to the UK. The rich diversity of shooting often means we operate in small groups, unnoticed and quietly enjoying our sport responsibly and with passion. Together shooting sports are a force for good; we are law abiding, strictly regulated, safety conscious, enthusiastic environmentalists, whose passion for shooting can literally last a lifetime.
"Support for target shooting is growing rapidly; from grass roots to international competitions such as the Commonwealth Games.  Shooting can genuinely claim to be a sport for all ages, sexes, budgets, and any physical ability."

Tim Baynes, director of the Scottish Moorland Group (part of Scottish Land and Estates), said: “Scotland is a special place for all types of shooting sports, most notably red deer stalking and grouse shooting which have shaped large parts of the landscape.  This new report sets out their important contribution to the rural economy and biodiversity of the UK as a whole.”

Click here for the The Value of Shooting report in PDF format Adobe Acrobat Document (7.56Mb)


For more information please contact:

British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) - 01244 573052 or 07500 609161.
Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) – 01483 485400
Countryside Alliance - 0207 840 9220
National Gamekeepers' Organisation (NGO) - 01766 523795
Scottish Land and Estates/Scottish Moorland Group - 07887 643 521

Notes to editors:

*Gross Value Added (GVA): The standard monetary measure of the value of economic activity. Equal to the sum of employment costs plus profits.
Equivalent to the value of goods and services produced minus the inputs (raw materials, services etc) required to produce them.

**(source:“Reconomics” report

The Value of Shooting research examined the employment and monetary flows of shooting providers and participants to quantify the direct and indirect contribution of shooting to the UK. It measured the environmental effects of conservation and land management practices and looked at the social aspects of shooting. The data collected was based on a 12 month period between August 2012 and July 2013.

The research included 16,234 survey responses.

The study has benefited greatly from the co-operation of all of the partner organisations: 

British Association for Shooting and Conservation Limited (BASC), British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC), CLA, Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA), Countryside Alliance, Game Farmers’ Association (GFA), GunsOnPegs, Gun Trade Association (GTA), Moorland Association (MA), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), National Rifle Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (NRA), National Small-Bore Rifle Association (NSRA), Scottish Land & Estates (SL&E) incorporating the Scottish Moorland Group (SMG), Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG).

We are also grateful to the Association of Professional Shooting Instructors and the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association for providing data and distributing online survey invitations.

Click here for the full consultancy report in PDF format Adobe Acrobat Document (692Kb)

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